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    Downpour, gusty storm threat to return to eastern US this week

    By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
    February 27, 2017, 2:40:16 AM EST

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    Soaking rain and locally severe thunderstorms will take aim at the eastern United States around the middle of the week.

    The stormy weather will follow a tranquil and cool end to the weekend up and down the East Coast.

    A storm will gather strength over the Central states and race northeastward toward the Great Lakes at midweek.

    Abundant moisture will be pulled northward from the Gulf of Mexico, leading to widespread soaking rain and locally severe thunderstorms that will sweep eastward from the Mississippi Valley to the Eastern Seaboard.

    Midweek storms in East

    “Gusty storms will push into the mid-Atlantic for Wednesday and Wednesday night,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

    Thunderstorms could pack a punch as far south as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

    Prior to the main line of thunderstorms, rounds of intermittent rain can fall across the East during Tuesday.

    The resurgence of warm air ahead of the storm system will add fuel to the thunderstorms.

    “There will be the potential for damaging wind gusts,” Spamer said.

    Hail and localized flash flooding could add further threats to the region, especially in the Ohio Valley and western mid-Atlantic. Tree damage and power outages may occur.

    near-record warmth east

    The risk for travel delays will be heightened as heavy rain and thunderstorms cross major interstates and airport hubs.

    “These storms will bring heavy downpours that could cause poor visibility for motorists and ponding on roadways,” Spamer said.

    Large stretches of interstates 20, 40, 55, 65, 70, 80, 90 and 95 could be impacted by reduced visibility and slower-than-normal commute times.

    Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Cleveland and Atlanta are a few of the cities that could experience disruptive thunderstorms.

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    People living and traveling across this corridor should remain alert of the latest weather watches and warnings and take action if necessary.

    While the stormy pattern will bring disruptions to travel and outdoor plans, the rainfall will help to fill low streams and reservoirs and soak the dry ground.

    Widespread moderate to severe drought is being reported from southern New England to the mid-Atlantic and across the interior Southeast.

    Spamer anticipates much cooler air to filter in behind the storms with highs expected to return to the 30s and 40s F across the Northeast heading into the first weekend of March.

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